Reviews for Long bright river

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Mickey Fitzpatrick is a beat cop in Philadelphia's rough Kensington neighborhood, not far from where she grew up in her grandmother's literally and figuratively cold house. In childhood, her saving grace was her younger sister, Kacey, who was friendly in contrast to Mickey's painful shyness and tough as opposed to Mickey's meek. But the distance that developed as they hit adolescence widened into a chasm as Kacey fell deeper into heroin addiction. Mickey is used to not seeing her sister, but as young women, all addicts and sex workers, start being found dead in Kensington, she realizes that her sister's absence may be something more sinister. One of the pleasures of this deeply moving, absolutely page-turning novel is the way Moore (The Unseen World, 2016), in both the present and in flashbacks to Mickey and Kacey's childhood and teen years, slowly peels back layer after layer, revealing the old-boy's network in the Philadelphia police force, the depths of Mickey's loneliness, and the way the city of Philadelphia, particularly Kensington, is woven into this story, for good or ill. Give this to readers who like character-driven crime novels with a strong sense of place.--Susan Maguire Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal
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Two sisters, thick as thieves when they were children being raised by a bitter grandmother, are now estranged as adults. Kacey is a prostitute, lost to the streets of Kensington, a Philadelphia neighborhood, and feeding the same need for opioids that killed the sisters' mother. Single parent Mickey, a police officer working that same neighborhood, is valiantly juggling the demands of adored four-year-old son Thomas and a job she loves. Mickey is drawn into a string of murders of prostitutes, terrified that her missing sister may be the next victim and alarmed that the Philadelphia Police Department does not seem to be following crucial leads. Mickey reaches out to an old partner for help, but ultimately she conducts a solo search for her sister that imperils all she holds dear and drags her back to a past riddled with unanswered questions. VERDICT In her fourth novel (following The Unseen World), Rome Prize-winning author Moore blends the reality of today's deadly opioid crisis with a complicated family dynamic to create an intense mystery with stunning twists and turns. Impossible to put down, impossible to forget. [See Prepub Alert, 7/1/19.]—Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

The Rome Prize winner of Heft and An Unseen World introduces us to two once-close sisters walking the same Philadelphia street. But Mickey is a beat cop, dedicated to her work and relentlessly worried about Kacey, a drug addict. Then Kacey disappears at a time when a series of murders erupt in the environs. Big in-house raves.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A young Philadelphia policewoman searches for her addicted sister on the streets.The title of Moore's (The Unseen World, 2016, etc.) fourth novel refers to "a long bright river of departed souls," the souls of people dead from opioid overdoses in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington. The book opens with a long paragraph that's just a list of names, most of whom don't have a role in the plot, but the last two entries are key: "Our mother. Our father." As the novel opens, narrator Mickey Fitzpatricka bright but emotionally damaged single momis responding with her partner to a call. A dead girl has turned up in an abandoned train yard frequented by junkies. Mickey is terrified that it will be her estranged sister, Kacey, whom she hasn't seen in a while. The two were raised by their grandmother, a cold, bitter woman who never recovered from the overdose death of the girls' mother. Mickey herself is awkward and tense in all social situations; when she talks about her childhood she mentions watching the other kids from the window, trying to memorize their mannerisms so she could "steal them and use them [her]self." She is close with no one except her 4-year-old son, Thomas, whom she barely sees because she works so much, leaving him with an unenthusiastic babysitter. Opioid abuse per se is not the focus of the actionthe book centers on the search for Kacey. Obsessed with the possibility that her sister will end up dead before she can find her, Mickey breaches protocol and makes a series of impulsive decisions that get her in trouble. The pace is frustratingly slow for most of the book, then picks up with a flurry of revelations and developments toward the end, bringing characters onstage we don't have enough time to get to know. The narrator of this atmospheric crime novel has every reason to be difficult and guarded, but the reader may find her no easier to bond with than the other characters do.With its flat, staccato tone and mournful mood, it's almost as if the book itself were suffering from depression. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
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Moore (The Unseen World) weaves a police procedural and a family drama into a captivating novel. Mickey Fitzpatrick, a single mother, is an officer for the Philadelphia PD, tasked with patrolling Kensington, a neighborhood devastated by opioid addiction. Drugs have impacted Mickey’s life as well: her mother died of an overdose, her father, also an addict, is thought dead after disappearing, and her estranged younger sister, Kasey, is a known user and prostitute. While on her beat, Mickey tries to keep tabs on Kasey by speaking to locals and shop owners, but when Kasey vanishes amid a flurry of unsolved murders of women in the neighborhood, Mickey dedicates herself to finding Kasey and the killer, all the while praying her sister isn’t the next victim. Moore breaks her novel into sections labeled “Then” and “Now,” filling each with short, direct chapters that explore Mickey and Kasey’s history while also propelling the narrative’s murder mystery. The author presents several characters as the potential killer, and though seasoned readers may guess the culprit long before the reveal, Mickey’s personal journey that runs parallel to her pursuit is smartly crafted. Filled with strong characters and a layered plot, this will please fans of both genre and literary fiction. (Jan.)

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